Now here’s a familiar scene: President Trump spoke up on Friday in defense of a powerful friend of his who has been accused of criminal activity—in this case, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who has been charged with soliciting prostitution in Florida.
“Well, it’s very sad,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “I was very surprised to see it. He has proclaimed his innocence, totally, but I was very surprised to see it.”
Kraft was charged as part of a large raid on massage parlors in Florida; law enforcement alleges that the parlors have also been used for human trafficking. He has, as Trump noted, proclaimed his innocence, with a spokesperson saying, “We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity.”
As always in these situations, it’s worth noting two things. First, Kraft joins a long roster of Trump confidantes and allies whom the president has staunchly defended against criminal activity or sexual misconduct. Second, Trump’s love of due process only ever comes into play when one of these confidantes or allies is in the dock. When it’s, say, the Central Park Five, his fealty to justice is somewhat weaker.